20 February 2017

Exmouth social housing scheme recognised at national Innovation Awards

A project which transformed a Victorian style terraced house in Devon into highly energy efficient 21st century homes has been recognised as one of the UKs most innovative retrofit schemes.

The ground-breaking social housing project delivered by East Devon District Council and South West housing specialists Mi-space was one of six schemes nationally shortlisted at the Housing Innovation Awards.

The awards celebrate inventive and original housing schemes and services being developed across the country.

Mi-space completed the innovative, low energy refurbishment of a Victorian style terraced house in Exmouth in October 2016. The refurbishment of the shared housing property for six single people was completed to exacting low energy Passivhaus design principles.

102 St Andrews Road is now officially certified as a Quality-Approved Passive House, having passed a number of stringent tests. The house has excellent thermal performance qualities, requiring very little energy to heat or cool it. This in turn will reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, which will in turn mean lower heating bills for the tenants.

Amy Gilbert-Jeans, Property and Asset Manager for East Devon District Council said: “I am delighted that all the hard work and determination that has gone into this project has been recognised at this level and we were thrilled to be shortlisted for this award. The project was very challenging and at times difficult but we are extremely pleased and proud of the final result, which will provide much needed energy efficient and well insulated accommodation for single people.”

A J Eaton, Divisional Director of Mi-space Asset Management, part of South West construction company The Midas Group, said:  “This was a successful partnership with East Devon District Council, setting ambitious goals for a social housing retrofit and taking our work to a new and exciting level.  It’s wonderful to be recognised at a national level for the work we delivered and it will allow the Midas Group to bring the knowledge, skills and experience gained during this project to other schemes.” 

It is the first time that East Devon District Council has provided this type of accommodation for single people and the decision to create it came about in response to recent welfare and benefit changes, which highlighted an urgent need to tackle fuel poverty. It has underlined the council’s resolve to help its tenants reduce fuel consumption and associated heating bills and confirmed the council’s belief that there is a demand for this type of social housing in East Devon.

The Housing Innovation Awards were held in London on Wednesday, February 8.

ENDS

Image: left to right: Tim Baker, Mi-space, John Golding Strategic Lead – Housing & Environment EDDC, EDDC Cllr Bill Nash, Graham Baker Programme Works Officer EDDC, Paul Lowe Housing Enabling & Allocations Manager EDDC, Amy Gilbert Property and Asset Manager EDDC, Andrew Mitchell Housing Needs & Strategy Manager EDDC, EDDC Cllr Jill Elson & portfolio holder for sustainable homes and communities, standing outside 102 St Andrews Road, Exmouth.

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